WSIU, Carbondale Library to Present Free Screening of The Bad Kids on Feb 25

Feb 17, 2017

Photo: Jennifer Coffield pushes her niece on a swing in the Independent Lens film The Bad Kids. Credit: Low Key Pictures.

Jennifer Coffield pushes her niece on a swing in the Independent Lens film The Bad Kids.
Credit Low Key Pictures

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 17, 2017

Contact: Beth Spezia, WSIU Educational Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-5595,; Lisa Tawil, ITVS, (415) 356-8383,

WSIU, Carbondale Public Library to Present Free Indie Lens Pop-Up Screening of “The Bad Kids”

Event is Saturday, February 25 at 2:30pm at the Carbondale Library

Carbondale, IL – Indie Lens Pop-Up, a community film and discussion series presented by ITVS, the PBS series Independent LensWSIU Public Broadcasting, and the Carbondale Public Library, are pleased to present a free screening of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award for Vérité Filmmaking, The Bad Kids, a film by Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe, on Saturday, February 25 at 2:30pm at the Carbondale Public Library, 405 W. Main. 

Tina Carpenter, Director of Operations at the Boys & Girls Club of Carbondale, will lead a discussion after the film.

Located in an isolated and impoverished Mojave Desert community, Black Rock Continuation High School is one of California’s alternative schools for at-risk students. Every student there has fallen so far behind that they have little hope of earning a diploma at a traditional high school – Black Rock is their last chance. But Principal Vonda Viland and the teachers at Black Rock are on a mission to realize the potential of students who have been deemed lost causes by the system. 

Powerful and inspiring, The Bad Kids follows Viland and her staff over a year as they coach at-risk teens with compassion, respect, and a seemingly endless supply of patience. The film focuses on three students – Lee, a new father who struggles to support his family; Jennifer, a young woman grappling with sexual abuse; and Joey, a young man from an unstable home with a history of drug addiction – as they work through the traumas and obstacles that threaten their spirit and futures. The Bad Kids is part of “American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen,” a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help communities ensure more students graduate ready for college and careers.

The Bad Kids premieres on Independent Lens and WSIU-TV on Monday, March 20 at 9pm.

Additional local Indie Lens Pop-Up film events will be held at the Carbondale Public Library, as follows: National Bird, Saturday, April 29 at 2:30pm; and Real Boy, Saturday, June 17 at 2:30pm.

Watch for schedule updates from WSIU on the air, online, and in the monthly WSIU program guide, Previews, or contact WSIU Outreach Coordinator, Beth Spezia, at (618)

Questions about Indie Lens Pop-Up screenings at the Carbondale Public Library should be directed to (618) 457-0345. Learn more about the community engagement series on WSIU’s local Indie Lens Pop-Up webpage at or visit the project website at

About the Film Directors

Keith Fulton (Producer/Director/Sound) and Lou Pepe (Director/Cinematographer) are directors of both documentary and fiction films, among them Lost in La Mancha, shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, 2002, and Brothers of the Head,winner of the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature, 2006. Fulton and Pepe both hold MFAs in Radio-TV-Film from Temple University. They are alumni of the Sundance Institute's Writing and Directing Labs.  

At Low Key Pictures, they have received documentary commissions from the Gates and Participant Foundations to create documentary programming about public education. They are the authors of numerous screenplays and the creators ofMalkovich's Mail, an original documentary special for AMC. 

Indie Lens Pop-Up

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on the PBS series Independent LensIndie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders, and organizations to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics to family and relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation. Can't attend in person? Find Independent Lens on Facebook for information on our online Pop-Up events.

About Independent Lens

Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS on select Monday nights at 9pm CST. The acclaimed series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. For more visit Join the conversation at and on Twitter @IndependentLens.

About WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department. 

WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 

About the Carbondale Public Library

The Carbondale Public Library provides resources and services to support the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the Carbondale community. The library provides free services to all residents living within the city boundaries and is part of the Shawnee Library System.

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